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Intrust Super Cup Round 23 preview

QRL Media previews the penultimate round of the Intrust Super Cup.

Easts Tigers v Souths Logan Magpies
Suzuki Stadium, Saturday, August 18 – 1.10pm* (Live on Channel 9)
Live on Channel 9 from 1pm
Head-to-Head: Easts 30 Souths-Logan 14
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #TIGESvSLM

• Easts Tigers can all but seal their spot in this year's semi-finals series when they host the out of form Magpies on Saturday.

• In a stunning form reversal, the Tigers have won seven of their past eight games to move from 11th to fifth on the ladder.

• The Magpies have struggled during the same period, losing nine of their last 10 to slide from second to 10th.

• This will be 100th Cup game for Tigers forward Jack Svendsen, who joined the club from the Northern Pride.

• Souths Logan suffered a heavy blow during the week with George Fai and Manaia Cherrington both suspended for a week for shoulder charges.

Ipswich Jets v Tweed Heads Seagulls
North Ipswich Reserve, Saturday, August 18 – 3pm
Head-to-Head: Tweed 20 Ipswich 13
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #JETSvTHS

• Ipswich is on a roll but the home team must win the Round 23 clash against a dangerous Tweed outfit to stay alive heading in the final round of fixtures.

• The Jets need to win their two remaining games and hope other results fall their way to sneak into the play-offs. If they fall short, coaches Ben and Shane Walker may very well rue the after-the-siren loss to Tweed earlier this season.

• Ipswich have won three of the last four and six of the past eight games between these two sides.

• Titans feeder team Tweed have lost six of their last seven games, slipping from sixth to 12th on the ladder.

• Although out of finals contention, the Gulls boast some of the best attacking players in the competition, including former Panther Bryce Cartwright and electric fullback Alex Grant.

See the Round 22 Judiciary Results here

Burleigh Bears v Townsville Blackhawks
Pizzey Park, Saturday, August 18 – 4.15pm
Head-to-Head: Burleigh 3 Townsville 3 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #BEARSvTSVB

• Jim Lenihan is aiming for his 100th Cup win with the Bears in his 189th game in charge – only three other coaches have achieved 100 wins. They are Rick Stone (Burleigh), Ben and Shane Walker (Ipswich) and Neil Wharton (Redcliffe / Wynnum Manly).

• In the first meeting between these sides earlier this year, Townsville was able to get the money with a gritty 13-6 win at home.

• Their three previous games at Pizzey Park have resulted in one win each and a draw.

• In what could be a sign of things to come this weekend, the seven-point margin in Round 9 was the largest margin between them in five games.

• Townsville has dropped their past two games, but a win here could put them back to the top of the ladder heading into the final round.

Mackay Cutters v North Devils
BB Print Stadium Mackay, Saturday, August 18 – 6pm
Head-to-Head: Norths 12 Mackay 10
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #MCvDEVILS

• In Round 9, the Cutters produced one of their best performances of the season when they outplayed Norths on their way to a 26-10 victory.

• Unfortunately for Mackay fans, the Cutters have struggled since that game with only a recent draw against Redcliffe breaking a run of outs.

• Rohan Smith's Devils have lost three of their past four games, dropping from fourth to eighth spot.

• If Mackay can get over the line, it will be the club's 100th Cup victory since their entry into the competition in 2008.

• The presence of Cowboys Kyle Laybutt (five-eighth) and Lachlan Coote (fullback) should ensure the Devils' defensive line is put to the test.

CQ Capras v Sunshine Coast Falcons
Marley Brown Oval, Gladstone, Saturday, August 18 – 6pm
Head-to-Head: Sunshine Coast 11 Central 8 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #CQCvSCF
Livestream available

• There has been some massive news to come out of both clubs this week, with new coaches named for Round 23 combatants.

Eric Smith has been named as the man to replace Craig Ingbrigtsen at the Falcons, while David Faiumu was confirmed as the Kim Williams' successor at the Central Qld Capras.

• After two tight losses, the Falcons will need a miracle to be in finals contention and will be playing for pride at Gladstone's Marley Brown Oval.

• So too are the Capras, who put five tries on the Jets last weekend with some nice attacking plays.

• The Falcons scored five tries to the Tigers' four last weekend, but were ultimately denied by the sharp boot of Easts star Brodie Croft (five goals).

See the Round 23 Referee Appointments here 

Northern Pride v Redcliffe Dolphins
Barlow Park, Saturday, August 18 – 7pm
Head-to-Head: Pride 16 Redcliffe 4
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PRIDEvPHINS

• Dolphin James Taylor is free to take his spot on the Redcliffe interchange bench after accepting an early plea to a dangerous throw charge.

• Josh Beehag comes onto the wing for the injured Jonus Pearson in a key change for the Phins.

• The Dolphins have won three of the past five games between these two sides, but quite incredibly still have an unwanted head-to-head record against the Pride.

• As expected, the Pride has been particularly dominant in Cairns, with Redcliffe having only won two of 10 games in the Far North match-ups.

• The Ty Williams-coached Pride has won eight of their last nine home games and will almost certainly be playing finals footy in September after Javid Bowen's double got them over the line against Mackay last weekend.

PNG Hunters v Wynnum Manly Seagulls
National Football Stadium, Sunday, August 19 – 3pm
Head-to-Head: PNG 6 Wynnum 2
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PNGvWYN

• Wynnum Manly forward Salesi Funaki plays his 50th Cup match for the Seagulls, who meet the Hunters for the first time since their two-point loss in Round 10.

• The Hunters have won all four games against Wynnum in PNG and will be strongly fancied to continue that trend on home soil this weekend.

• However, the Seagulls do have a spring in their step after a thrilling win over Norths Devils last weekend.

• PNG have won their last five games, moving from 11th to sixth spot to keep their quest for back to back premierships well and truly alive.

• One slip up could be costly though, with both the Ipswich Jets and Norths Devils in hot pursuit.

*Statistics by Brad Tallon